Sunday, December 30, 2007

Roy Harris's Third Symphony

2007 was the centennial year for my native state, Oklahoma, and before it fades away, I wanted to mention a recent post by Robert Gable. Gable writes, that "I personally, subjectively, non-rationally prefer Harris' Symphony No. 3 to anything by Adams or Reich. Of course, numbers 2 thru 24 are all Adams and Reich (with #25 Lara Downes playing Harris' American Ballads)."

Gable talks about the work as if it's a guilty pleasure. I like it, too (there's a cheap recording easily available.)

Harris was an Oklahoma native, although I don't remember hearing anything about him when I lived there, even when I took a classical music appreciation class at the University of Oklahoma.

Harris biography here.


rchrd said...

Underappreciated and underperformed is Harris's Symphony 1933.

JW said...

The best of Harris the 3rd is, but not the best of American symphonies. Look to Mennin, Flagello, Creston, Persichetti, Piston, Lees, Sessions, and one of Copland for that.

modernclassical said...

jw, I'm very fond of Copland's Third, I need to check out the others you mention. rchrd, thanks for the tip.

Jeffrey Quick said...

Yes, the 3rd is the best overall. 5-7 are also good. 8 and 9 can get a little meander-y...lots of little scraps of tune over 3rd-related harmonies. 2nd has its moments but doesn't quite work. 4 is well-done for what it is. The one I'd really love to hear is 11, which is supposed to be the most pessimistic Harris symphony.

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